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Boris Johnson news – live: EU reveals no Brexit talks arranged despite no-deal threat as PM ‘absolutely’ rules out calling election before 31 October

Follow how the day in Westminster unfolded

Who is in Boris Johnson's cabinet?

The EU has revealed that no Brexit talks are currently scheduled with Boris Johnson‘s government, despite Britain being on course to leave the bloc without a deal in less than three months.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said they had “no further announcements” to make about future negotiations.

Later on Friday evening, Mr Johnson received a call from Donald Trump, the US president, in which the pair agreed to begin free trade talks as soon as the UK leaves the EU, Downing Street said.

A spokesperson said the two world leaders discussed the “unparalleled” trade opportunities offered by Brexit.

It came after Mr Johnson suffered a blow to his efforts to woo hardline Brexiteers when a senior Eurosceptic MP snubbed his offer of a government job.

However, he may have more success in other areas of recruitment, as insiders said he had requested a dog to join him in No10.

The new prime minister is understood to raised the idea with staff when he addressed them on his arrival and received an enthusiastic response.

Follow how the day in Westminster unfolded


Welcome to The Independent's politics liveblog, where we will be bringing you all the latest updates throughout the day.

Here is today's front page, leading on Boris Johnson's pledge to scrap Theresa May's commitment to keeping net migration below the "tens of thousands".

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 08:15

One of the big stories overnight is Brexiteer Steve Baker's decision to snub a job offer from Boris Johnson. Baker was previously a Brexit minister but resigned in protest at the government Brexit strategy.

He was offered another role at the Brexit department but he said he could not repeat the feeling of "powerlessness" he experienced.

Baker is a senior figure in the European Research Group (ERG) of backbench Tories - a key Eurosceptic faction, which played a large part in Theresa May's failure to pass her Brexit deal.

His refusal to serve is a sign of the challenges the new PM faces.

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 08:31

In a further sign of the ERG's stance, the group's vice-chairman Mark Francois said it would oppose any attempt by Mr Johnson to bring back the deal thrashed out with Brussels, even if he succeeded in removing the Irish backstop - the most contentious element of the divorce deal.

He told the BBC's Newsnight: "If there were any attempt to revive the Withdrawal Agreement, even without the backstop, the ERG would vote against it."

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 08:45

Boris Johnson has vowed to urgently relax stop and search restrictions for police officers across the UK, in a controversial first full policy announcement as prime minister.

Downing Street said that a trial scheme designed to make it easier for officers to conduct searches would be “urgently” reviewed, with a view to extending it across the whole country. 

Mr Johnson also vowed to begin the process of recruiting 20,000 new police officers within “weeks”, saying the Home Office would launch the recruitment drive in September. 

He is expected to announce the policy later today, during a trip to the West Midlands:

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 09:00

The US ambassador to the UK has compared Boris Johnson to Donald Trump and predicted a "sensational" relationship between them.

Woody Johnson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think both of these leaders have their own style but they have similarities. And I think they have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish."

He was asked whether Mr Trump was aware that the prime minister accused then-candidate Mr Trump of "stupefying ignorance" and being unfit to hold office.

"I'm sure he does," the ambassador said.

"I think that may have been an odd comment at the time.

"Donald Trump is going to say what he wants to say, when he wants to say it, and he will comment on injustices or inabilities or how he sees it, and I think he respects Boris for the same. Boris is going to call it as he sees it.

"I think they have so much more in common in terms of what they want to accomplish for the good of both of our nations."

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 09:21

Woody Johnson also said the PM's criticism of the president's "go back" comments about the four Democratic congresswomen of colour would not jeopardise UK-US relations.

Asked whether Mr Trump would hold the comments against the PM, the ambassador told Today: "I think the president is going to try and move the ball forward.

"The UK is our most important ally both in security and also in prosperity, you are very important and he knows that and he's made some comments regarding a free trade agreement and putting the UK at the front of the line."

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 09:29

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson have "a lot in common" and will have a "sensational" relationship, the US ambassador to the UK has claimed, as he drew comparisons between the two leaders.

Woody Johnson's remarks follow weeks of strained relations between Washington and London over the US president's racist remarks towards four American congresswoman, and unprecedented criticism of Theresa May.

Read our piece here:

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 09:43

Brexit hardliner Mark Francois claims Tory Eurosceptics will vote against the withdrawal agreement - even if the backstop is removed. 

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 09:58

Boris Johnson has been warned by one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement that it is "not bright" to force a rigid deadline on Brexit negotiations.

Bertie Ahern, former premier of the Republic of Ireland, also said the PM's aim to secure a new Brexit deal is barely achievable by the October 31 deadline.

Mr Johnson has made a "do or die" commitment to achieve Brexit by that date, even if it means leaving the EU without a deal.

Mr Ahern, who served as Taoiseach from 1997 to 2008, urged against seeking simplistic solutions to the complex problem of the Irish backstop to prevent a hard border on the island.

"I think we should all avoid trying to come up with simplistic solutions that this can all be done just by waving a hand or the stroke of a pen," he said.

"It is complex, it is difficult, it is new, and I think forcing a deadline into that is not bright, and I put it no stronger than that."

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 10:13

Boris Johnson has faced a backlash over the appointment for his new digital adviser Chloe Westley, who previously expressed her support for far-right politician Anne Marie Waters.

Lizzy Buchan26 July 2019 10:29

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